In our writing sessions, the children choose what they will write about. Our session starts with a ten minute mini-lesson, where we focus on one small aspect of writing. We have a quick practice all together or in pairs and then the children go off to experiment using our focus lesson in their writing. Before they start writing, they think about whether they will:
- continue working on something they have started before or start a new piece
- write a fiction piece or a non fiction piece
- take their writing through to publishing stage or leave it in draft form
- share their published work as a book, poster, Puppet Pals animation, kamishi bai or other form
This week the we added another choice to the list – blogging. The children love their kidblogs! They have been amazed and delighted by the number of comments they have received and are highly motivated to write comments on each others blogs. We have added two other class kidblogs to our blog roll – our good friends from Canada, @KinderPals (who introduced us to kidblogs in the first place) and a new class, Ms Lirenman’s Grade 1 class.
The KC children have noticed that KinderPals and Ms Lirenman’s class have photographs on their kidblogs. They are keen to add photographs to their blogs. I have explained that I don’t know how to do that (yet!) but have promised to ask the teachers, Michelle and Karen, how they manage their students’ photographs and get them onto the blog. A learning journey for all!
The children are realizing that some of the comments are hard to read and are discovering for themselves the importance of conventional spelling. In our reflection circle after one blogging session, the children came up with a list of strategies to help them with their spelling:
- You can ask your friend who is very good at writing.
- I looked in my reading book because that word was there and I read it.
- I sounded out with the alphabet chart
- Well you can just keep writing and not worry about the red lines till you finish, like we do in our other writing.
- I copied sleepover from the paper where we wrote it before.
- Me too, I copy from there. (points to time line)
- We did our together and we helped each other by sounding out but we didn’t know if there was silent letters
As the children work on their writing, I observe them experimenting, re-reading their work, thinking out loud, seeking and offering help, discussing their ideas with peers and encouraging and supporting each other. Everyone is actively engaged and focused and working at a level that is right for them. I am reminded of the importance of giving learners a choice and enabling them to make decisions about their learning.